Vernon’s Colin Toppin (right) gets help from a friend installing basketball nets at Vernon’s Ellison Elementary School. (Facebook - photo)

Pair placing basketball nets in Okanagan city schools

Pair of men hoping to outfit every Vernon outdoor school basketball hoop with nets

Playing basketball helped Vernon residents Erik Olesen and Colin Toppin lose weight.

A lot of weight.

When the two friends arrived in Vernon from Prince George, they were, collectively, 770 pounds. So they found a basketball hoop at Ellison Elementary – oblivious that a high school, Fulton Secondary, was literally just up the road – and began playing.

And playing. And playing.

READ ALSO: North Okanagan basketball playoffs commence

Olesen, 27, a residential worker for the Turning Points Collaborative Society, was 44o pounds. His playing weight today is 207. Toppin, 35, a business owner, weighed in at 330. Today, he drives to the hoop at 170 pounds.

What they noticed about the outdoor hoops at Ellison was that there were no nets attached.

So, about a year ago, Olesen and Toppin decided to buy nets for Ellison. And Fulton Secondary. And every Vernon school that doesn’t have nets attached to their outdoor basketball hoops.

The pair attached the first nets to Ellison this week.

“We just said, ‘OK, let’s do this,’” said Olesen. “For us, basketball was a huge part of our weight loss and it’s more fun to play basketball when you have nets as opposed to shooting them through a hoop that doesn’t have a net.”

The pair have bought six nets so far and hope to do schools every two weeks until all basketball hoops have nets attached.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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